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Cherry Blossom Report 2014
Official cherry blossom reports by japan-guide.com

2014 Cherry Blossom Forecast - Schedule of upcoming reports - Popular cherry blossom spots
How to do hanami? - Cherry tree varieties - Post your own report

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2014/04/16 - Sendai Report
by scott

Mikamine Park

After exploring Fukushima's cherry blossom spots yesterday, today I headed further north to Sendai in neighboring Miyagi Prefecture to see how the hanami spots around that city were doing.

Shiroishi Riverside
April 16, 2014 - petals starting to fall

My first stop this morning was the Shiroishi Riverside, an 8 kilometer stretch of river about 30 minutes by train from Sendai. Roughly 1200 cherry trees are planted along the river, especially along a paved walking path between Ogawara and Funagaoka stations. The riverside is famous for the Hitome Senbonzakura, a spot about halfway between the two stations from where you can see 1000 cherry trees along the river in combination with Mount Zao off in the distance.

The trees along the river typically bloom from mid to late April, about two weeks after the trees around central Tokyo. This year the blossoms along the Shiroishi Riverside opened on the 7th and reached full bloom on the 12th. Today the petals were just beginning to fall, especially with the strong winds that swept through the area while I was there this morning. The flowers were still very nice and strong, however, and should continue to look great for a few more days.

Hitome Senbonzakura along the Shiroishi Riverside

The blossoms are just started starting to fall

Along the riverside

Mount Zao in the distance

A large cherry blossom festival is held along the river about a 5 minute walk from Ogawara Station. The grounds have food stalls and lots of space for hanami parties. The festivities last until April 25th, during which time the trees will be lit in the evenings from 18:00 to 22:00. Sightseeing boats also run along the river and cost 1000 yen.

Boat cruises ply the river

Enjoying the view

Hanami parties and food vendors

Parking was getting crazy as I was heading out

Mikamine Park
April 16, 2014 - petals starting to fall

Next I headed over to Mikamine Park, a spacious city park just outside of central Sendai. The park is a really nice spot to visit, especially for families, as it always feels more relaxed and less crowded than some of the other hanami spots around town. Today there were lots of families with small children and elderly people who were out enjoying the open lawns and shaded picnic spots under the trees.

The blossoms were also some of the best of the day and were just at the end of their peak state. Petals were just starting to fall, but are definitely strong enough to last for several more days. The only issue visiting Mikamine Park is the access as it is about a 30 minute walk from the Nagamachi Minami Subway Station. Parking is also difficult due to the park's inadequately small parking lot, so taxi from a nearby station may be your best bet.

Mikamine Park

Petals starting to fall around the park

Enjoying Mikamine Park

Tsutsujigaoka Park
April 16, 2014 - petals starting to fall (Somei Yoshino)
April 16, 2014 - full bloom (weeping cherry trees)
April 16, 2014 - approaching full bloom (50-80%) (late blooming weeping cherry trees)

My final stop today was Tsutsujigaoka Park, a beautiful public park just one kilometer from the East Exit of Sendai Station. This is definitely one of my favorite Sendai cherry blossom spots and always has a bustling party atmosphere when I visit. The best hanami spots are along the western edge of the park in an area with lots of weeping cherry trees. These bloom a little bit later than the regular Somei Yoshino variety further extending the peak season around the park.

Today was probably one of the best times to visit Tsutsujigaoka Park as the Somei Yoshinos were just starting to fall, creating exciting petal storms (hanafubuki) whenever the wind blew. In addition, the weeping cherry trees were either at or approaching full bloom, making for a beautiful site. And with the parks extended season, I wouldn't be surprised if the cherry blossoms continue on into next week.

Tsutsujigaoka Park

The Somei Yoshino petals were starting to fall around the park

Hanami parties underneath the trees

Hanafubuki

Weeping cherry trees around the park

Some of the weeping cherry trees have already reached full bloom

While the late blooming weeping cherries were approaching full bloom

Street performer entertaining the crowds at the park

Choco Banana!

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List of Posts:
2014/05/09 - Hakodate Report
2014/05/08 - Matsumae Report
2014/05/01 - Hirosaki Report
2014/04/30 - Kakunodate Report
2014/04/24 - Kitakami Report
2014/04/23 - Mt. Fuji Report
2014/04/23 - Morioka Report
2014/04/22 - Aizu Report
2014/04/19 - Matsushima Report
2014/04/17 - Takato Report
2014/04/16 - Sendai Report
2014/04/16 - Matsumoto Report
2014/04/15 - Fukushima Report
2014/04/15 - Mount Fuji Report
2014/04/15 - Kyoto Report
2014/04/14 - Yoshino Report
2014/04/13 - Osaka Report
2014/04/12 - Kanazawa Report
2014/04/11 - Kyoto Report
2014/04/10 - Yoshino Report
2014/04/10 - Tokyo Report
2014/04/09 - Gunma Report
2014/04/09 - Hikone Report
2014/04/08 - Kyoto Report
2014/04/07 - Tokyo Report
2014/04/06 - Kyoto Report
2014/04/05 - Hiroshima Report
2014/04/05 - Matsuyama Report
2014/04/04 - Tokyo Report
2014/04/04 - Kamakura Report
2014/04/04 - Osaka Report
2014/04/03 - Kyoto Report
2014/04/03 - Fukuoka Report
2014/04/03 - Uji Report
2014/04/02 - Tokyo Report
2014/04/02 - Nagoya Report
2014/04/02 - Kumamoto Report
2014/04/01 - Kyoto Report
2014/03/31 - Tokyo Report
2014/03/29 - Kyoto Report
2014/03/28 - Kumamoto Report
2014/03/27 - Fukuoka Report
2014/03/26 - Tokyo Report
2014/03/25 - Kyoto Report